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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 12, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

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02/12/14 02/12/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! in 2009, by home was attacked. my brother and son were martyred. >> those are the words of pakistani anti-drone activist karim khan. you disappeared a week ago, just days before he was due to travel from pakistan to europe to speak
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about the impact of u.s. drone wars. we will speak to madiha tahir, director of the film, "wounds of waziristan." then, attorney general eric holder calls for the repeal of state laws that are convicted felons from voting. >> across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million americans are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions. that is more than the individual populations of 31 united states. >> reporters without borders has just published its press freedom index for 2014. the u.s. has dropped 13 spots to just 46 on the list. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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passed a has narrowly new measure to let the debt ceiling until march 2015. 28 republicans joined with democrats, dropping her party's long-running tactic of tying the debt limit to cuts on social spending. this time military pensions, the measure faces an uncertain fate in the senate where it is i'm clear of democrats will have the votes to overcome a filibuster. attorney general eric holder has called on states to repeal laws that prohibit formally incarcerated people from voting. speaking at georgetown university law center, eric holder said african-americans have been disproportionately impacted. >> more incarcerated people continue to face obstacles. there frequently deprived of opportunities they need to rebuild their lives. in far too many places, their rights, including the single most basic right of american ,itizenship, the right to vote
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are you there abridged or denied. as the leadership conference education fund articulated clearly in the recent report "there is no rational reason to take away someone's voting rights for life just because they committed a crime, especially after they have completed their sentence and made amends." >> eric holder's call is largely symbolic since the federal government cannot force states to change their voting laws. more on the story later in the broadcast. washington state has become the latest in the u.s. to suspend the death penalty. democratic governor announced the move. >> a system that does not deter , costs citizens means of dollars more than life imprisonment without parole is uncertain in its application, and exposes famous to multiple decades of uncertainty as to the
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result of the judicial decision is not right. you can say it is not moral, but i can say it is not right. the 18thgton state is state to hold capital punishment . nine prisoners will be moved off death row as a result. thousands of websites took part in a day protests against mass surveillance by the nsa tuesday by displaying banners and encouraging a flood of calls to congress. fightzers of the day we back against mass surveillance say lawmakers received phone hour at a rate of 5000 per to back laws that would reform government spying. you can go to democracynow.org for our coverage of the day of action from tuesday's broadcast. a federal appeals court has rejected a bid by hunger striking guantánamo bay prisoners to stop the government from subjecting them to force-feeding. human rights groups say the practice amounts to torture, but the d secret circuit court -- d
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c circuit court of appeals has any injunction against force-feeding kaletra prisoners that. the judge has also ruled federal courts can oversee complaints about prison conditions for guantánamo prisoners. the decision could lead to new challenges from guantánamo's 155 remaining prisoners. west virginia is facing a new toxic spill following the rupture of a coal slurry. an undisclosed amount of waste has leaked into the eastern part of the state after a slurry line broke open. it comes as west virginia continues to grapple with the aftermath of a massive chemical spill that cut off water supplies for over 300,000 people last month. a coal ash pond owned by duke energy leaked in north carolina last week. groups areal criticizing state regulators for seeking to delay an agreement that would shield duke from responsibility for cleaning up the pollution of waterways. the north carolina government says it will reevaluate the
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agreement and light of the spill, but environmentalists say it is to buy time until public outcry subsides. over the past year, the ministration of north carolina governor and former duke employee patrick cory has shielded the company from a series of potential lawsuits. an explosion at a natural gas fracking well in pennsylvania has sparked a massive fire. one person is missing while another has been hospitalized at injuries. the well's operator, chevron, was reportedly preparing to begin pumping gas from the well when the blast occurred. the fire is expected to last for several days. you and envoy lakhdar brahimi has moved up the meeting with u.s. and russian diplomats in a bid to overcome an impasse at the syrian peace talks in geneva. he says he hopes the two world powers acting opposite sides in the conflict can help break a deadlock in talks. on tuesday, he said the summit is failing to make progress. week iseginning of this
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as laborious as it was the first week. progress.making much i'm not sure whether i can impose it on people who don't want. how can you put a gun on their heads? country.ir this is a huge responsibility they have. >> hundreds of seville ash hundreds of siblings had been evacuated from --hundreds of civilians have been evacuated from homs. hundreds of protesters are railing on the japanese island of okinawa to mark the first visit by new u.s. ambassador caroline kennedy. the trip is seen as a show of support for okinawa's governor who recently agreed to relocate off of major u.s. military base
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from a densely populated urban areas or more remote location. a decade-long movement of okinawa residents has opposed the base altogether and push for theing u.s. forces off island, citing environmental concerns and sexual assaults by u.s. soldiers and local residents. around 300 people marched ahead of kennedy's arrival, waving signs saying "no base." thousands have rallied in bahrai n. opposition activists began protesting the u.s.-backed sunni regime on february 14, 20 11 amidst popular uprisings in egypt and tunisia. the protests have been crushed by martial law and u.s.-backed invasion of saudi arabia forces. crowdive crowded -- marched in the capital tuesday behind a banner reading "it's impossible for the people to give up on democracybahrai."
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castedical research has doubt on the value of mammograms. study in theg british medical journal involving nearly 90,000 women has found death rates both from breast cancer and other causes are the same regardless of whether a woman underwent mammograms are not. in fact, the study found one in five women whose cancers were detected by mammograms in the early 1980's were overdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary treatment for slow-growing cancers that did not pose a threat to life expectancy. president obama welcomed visiting french president hollande on tuesday. hollande said he thinks trust has been restored between the two governments. obama issued a warning to businesses on flouting u.s. sanctions with iran during the period of an interim nuclear agreement. >> businesses may be exploring
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or there are possibilities to get in sooner rather than later if and when there is an actual agreement to be had, but i can so atou that they do their own peril right now. we will come down on them like a ton of bricks. with respect to the sanctions that we control. >> the florida man who killed an unarmed black teenager in a dispute over loud music has taken the stand at his murder trial. in 2012, michael dunn pulled up next to a car of teenagers and asked them to turn their stereo down. inside her car. following an argument, he shot eight or nine times into the vehicle, even after the teens tried to drive away. he fatally hit a 17-year-old jordan davis. testifying for the first time on tuesday, dunn claimed he feared for his life.
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now i'm paying attention. >> [inaudible] >> in a more elevated voice i hear [bleep] now he's screaming. after he said, "you are dead." i became even more fearful at that point. they said, overhears my glove i'm looking out the window and i said, "you're not eep]" andkill me [bl shot him. >> no weapons were ever found in the teenagers vehicle. dunn fled the scene instead of calling police, went to a hotel with his girlfriend and ordered pizza. the shooting has prompted
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comparisons to the shooting of trayvon martin. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today show in pakistan where an anti-drone activist and journalist has gone missing just days before he was due to travel to europe to speak with parliament members about the impact of the u.s. drone wars. the legal charity reprieve says karim khan was seized in the early hours of february 5 up to 20 men, some wearing police uniforms. he has not been seen since. karim khan's brother and son were both killed in a drone strike. he told his story the recent documentary, "wounds of waziristan."
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>> karim khan speaking in the film, "wounds of waziristan." since his son and brother were killed in 2009, he became a prominent anti-drone activist. he is been missing since last week. the executive director of reprieve said in a statement -- for more we're joined by madiha
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tahir. she made the film, "wounds of waziristan." she is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in "foreign affairs," "bbc was quote and other outlets. madiha tahir, thank you for being here. we broadcast the film and got tremendous response to it. now one of the key figures you interview and it, karim khan, is gone -- at least for the moment. explain who he is, his significance. >> karim khan is actually one of the first people to bring a case in the pakistani courts about drone attacks. he is the one who started to bring cases forward and it's been working with a lawyer shahzad akbar who has been fighting on behalf of of drone survivors and families of the dead. karim khan was working with shahzad akbar to help not only
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in his own case, but also to help and assist in other cases that were being brought forward in pakistani courts to demand restitution and demand transparency for these attacks. sense ofu give us a how many such cases have been filed and whether other anti-drone activist in pakistan have been targeted in any way or in fact picked up in the way that he was? >> karim khan is the first that i know of that has been picked up who was an anti-drone activist. pakistan ares in very common. it is a common state tactic all stopped -- it is a common state tactic. there are families protesting -- there were mass graves found of missing people quite recently, only a few weeks ago. this is a very common tactic by the state and, clearly, the pakistani establishment -- which
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is to say the intelligence agencies and the pakistani army -- what is in a message to the anti-drone movement to tell it to shut up, basically. >> i want to go back to your film, "wounds of waziristan." in this clip, karim speaks to you, madiha tahir. >> there again, karim khan, who went missing last week. and the people who took him, how many people saw this go down? was at home.
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his wife and children were at home when it happened, so they sought and there are other eyewitnesses. he was picked up by 15 to 20 people. it seems to be people who are dressed in plainclothes as well as police officers who picked them up and disappeared him. his whereabouts are unknown. his family has not been able to find out where he is being kept. shahzad akbar did file something on his behalf in the court and the court has ordered the intelligence agencies to reduce him by february 20 before the court. so we have to wait until that date and see what happens. the best scenario would be he is released before then. >> karim khan moved from waziristan. can you talk about the significance of the area from which he was picked up and whether it is significant that or whether it is widely believed that the people who are responsible for picking him up or the isi or the military or a combination? >> it is significant.
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it speaks to the nature of state violence in pakistan. the news media in the u.s. and pakistan has been, rightly so, discussing the attacks by militants that have happened in pakistan. they have been reprehensible. just two days ago, there is a bomb blast in a cinema they killed anywhere between 11 to 13 people. but that violence happens in a context and that context is state violence, which has been brutal in the sense it is very quiet, their disappearances like this will stop in this case, it is a high profile activist, but there are many people we don't even know haven't been picked up and disappeared by the state. there is a cyclical state that is happening in pakistan. >> talk about what he would say if he did get out. where was he going in europe? who was he going to be addressing? >> karim khan was slated to
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speak to several european parliaments next week. he was going to talk about the drone attack that killed his son and his brother on new year's eve in 2009. he would have talked about the cost of these attacks on the people in the tribal areas in pakistan, who are some of the most marginalized communities in pakistan. simply for wanting to speak out about what happened to him and what is happening and continues to happen in that area, he has been disappeared i the pakistani state -- by the pakistani state. we should not forget the united states is backed and funded the pakistani military, and this is happening. it is happening in conjunction with these states working together, but pakistan and the united states. >> you also spoke about the increasing cycle of violence in pakistan both state violence and antistate violence. could you draw the links between
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what you think is the correlation -- or if there is any -- between increasing number of drone strikes and the unprecedented number of suicide bombs that occur now and pakistan, a place which never knew suicide bombs 10 years ago? >> we have to be aware of drawing simple causes. suicide bombings are happening because -- it is not a straightforward cause, but there is a linkage. there is a correlation. the suicide attacks have increased in the last decade as pakistan has been attacked by drones and participated in the war on terror. the violence in pakistan has gotten so much worse with all sorts of blast happening. certainly, the war on terror, if it was meant to protect pakistanis, it is not working at all. it actually has had an adverse
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effect. by some estimates, anywhere like 30,000 pakistanis have been killed in attacks by nonstate actors. the war on terror is something the u.s. and the pakistani government has been working on together, that it certainly is not -- it certainly has not been on behalf of pakistanis. >> i want to go back to your film, "wounds of waziristan." you speak with karim khan's lawyer, shahzad akbar. , karim is shahzad akbar khan's lawyer. he told me why it is difficult to narrate his clients lives for the court and media. -- wen i have a client have this person who was killed so would like to construct his life on photographs. we have family photos of when he
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was young, when he was in school, when he was a teenager in and grew up. they're not there because you don't have the culture of taking pictures. >> in 2012, democracy now! spoke to, the cofounder of the foundation for fundamental rights and organizations that represents victims of drone strikes in pakistani courts. he is karim khan's lawyer. shahzad akbar explained why he decided to visit the u.s. at that time. >> on behalf of the victims in pakistan wanted to reach out to americans so they can make an informed judgment on drones. their opinion matters and it is going to matter in the next elections as well. they need to know what drones are doing to humans in pakistan. many of them who are civilians and it has been said by independent groups and journalists as well, a higher number of civilian victims. that has to be reported to the american public so they can make
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an informed judgment on drones. if american government should let the killing people overseas and their names. >> this is shahzad akbar, who you just watched and listened to. he was in the united states in 2012. but this past year when some of his clients came to the u.s., -- a little girl, a little boy, both injured when their grandmother was alone up in a drone strike -- blown up in a drone strike, he was not granted a visa to come to the united states. the significance of this, madiha tahir? it made it much more difficult. they did not speak english. he would have been a comfort to go as they were in a strange land. >> these are people that are seeking peaceful legal routes for restitution for something of great harm that has been done to them. a loss that they will suffer for the rest of their lives.
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to not allow their lawyer is to say that the u.s. doesn't care law and thele of legal process at all, to not allow the representative to come to the united states and speak -- to stand by his clients and speak alongside them. i think it is highly problematic but it speaks to the secretive nature of the american state. >> madiha tahir, can you give us a sense of how many victims or families of victims of drone strikes have attempted to bring their cases to the courts, either in pakistan or in the u.s.? >> i'm not sure exactly what the figures are at this point, because the cases are at different levels. are still in the process of gathering information in order to get the cases out there. the most significant cases right now are the karim khan case and
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tribale son of the leader who was killed on march 17 in a drone attack on a jurga that killed upwards of 40 or 50 people. >> the obama administration is receiving criticism. on monday, i spoke with glenn greenwald recently launched the intercept.org with jimmy scahill and laura poitras. i asked him about the initial associated press article that broke the story. you can go to democracynow.org to hear what glenn responded. i think actually we have it for you now. >> the very idea that the u.s. government suspects an american citizen, not having already engaged in crimes, but of planning to do so -- it is like a pre-crime framework for the u.s. government tries to guess
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at who will engage in crimes in the future and then treat them as a criminal. not just treat them as a criminal, but declare them guilty in secret proceedings not involving any court, but by the decree of the president of the united states to literally declare the person guilty and oppose the death penalty, and then go out and carry out the execution. just like they did with anwar khan.aki and samir no american should accept the ideas the president of the united states has the power to order american citizens killed, not on the battlefield or anywhere else that is in a war zone, but simply on the suspicion that they intend to engage in future criminal behavior, to describe that power is the most extremist amount of control a government can get. >> that was glenn greenwald. i agree with him.
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it is this pre-crime that the american citizen is going to possibly be a time for by the united states. most of the people being attacked in a similar way are not americans, but pakistanis, yemenis, etc. in pakistan, there has been the tactic of what are called signature structs which are strikes that are not actually targeting a specific high-value target or anything of that nature, but rather people whose behavioral patterns for one reason or another appear to the u.s. suspicion in intelligence apparatus that they may or may not be militants. we don't actually know. but simply on that basis, on faulty intelligence -- much of which is happening through cell phone data which is unreliable -- a lot of these attacks are carried out and why we have the secrets that we have. >> i want to turn to this new iphone app that tracks every
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reported u.s. drone strike over the course of two years. apple rejected different versions no less than five times. it is finally available. the creator explained why he created it in the first place. >> the first thing i did was make an iphone app called drones plus. it will send you a notification every time there was a u.s. drone strike. even if we have access to the data about drone strikes, do we really want to be interrupted by an? do we want to be as connected to our foreign policy as we are to our smartphone? our phones, these increasingly intermittent -- intimate devices , the put at the center of the map and tell us where we are going, do we want them to be the
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site of how we experience remote or? in an age when it is possible to sit in an air-conditioned room in mexico, control and airplane as a hovers over a village in what used to be india, is there a way to close the feedback loop a little bit and feel something, even if it is just my pocket vibrating when the missile hits the ceiling? luckily, apple help answer the question for me. and love is soap much they rejected it three times just to make sure more people would hear about it. they said it was excessively crude or objectionable content. gley.at was josh be madiha tahir, the significance of this? people who just listened, their jaws must have dropped. >> exceptionally crude or objectionable a terrible in that
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app was simply the database of the drone attacks that the u.s. is conducting in various countries. times onjected five that basis. the last time that he submitted appapp, he did it as an mt and it was accepted. then he filled it with the data. clearly, the reason for the prior rejections was political. it had nothing to do with technical reasons or standard review guidelines. >> madiha tahir, could you say a little bit about the area where the vast majority of these u.s. drone strikes occur? areas in general are said to be under virtual military observation. >> north waziristan where the majority of the attacks happen, you can't go there independently . you can only go there with
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military. i have not done that because i don't think would be very useful to do that, to walk in with the military. the military has used collective punishment were generally in the tribal areas. there is an intense repression. recently in december, there was a military operation in north waziristan carried out by the pakistani military in which scores of civilians were killed from indiscriminate, opened fire. before that, earlier in the year, some pakistani soldiers were attacked and instituted a 24-hour curfew that went on for months. osama bin laden was killed in polio was used as a ruse to kill him him a polio vaccinations. a ban was put on any kind of polio vaccinations happening and the response by the pakistani state, but the political agent in that area was to say to the population, look, if you actually comply with the militant a.m., you cannot get
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any government papers. population inthe north waziristan is essentially caught a tuna pakistani state, the military, and these militants -- caught between the pakistani state, the military, and these militants. >> a three-year-old girl for the 2001 now hasnce polio in kabul. >> yes, the numbers are going up. it is tragic. >> madiha tahir, thank you for being with us, to rector of this remarkable documentary, "wounds of waziristan." her work has appeared in many different publications. if you want to watch the documentary, democracy now! broadcasted. you can go to democracynow.org and we will have a link. we will continue to follow the case of karim khan who is featured in the documentary and disappeared last week. at least 20 men in uniform and
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on uniforms came to his house and took him away just before he was going to europe to testify about the cia drone wars. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. attorney general eric holder on tuesday called on states to repeal laws that prohibit formerly incarcerated people from voting, a move that would restore the right to vote to people. million african-americans have been disproportionately impacted by the laws. in florida, kentucky, and virginia, more than one in five americans have lost the right to vote. during his speech at the georgetown university law center, he called the laws "unnecessary and unjust." >> after reconstruction, many specificallyes
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targeted african-americans and diminish the electorate strength of newly free populations. resulting system of unequal enforcement and discriminatory application of the law led to a situation in 1890 where 90% -- 90% of the southern prison population was black. and those swept up in the system too often had their rights rescinded, their dignity diminished, and the full measure of their citizenship revoked for the rest of their lives. they could not vote. in the years since, thanks to the hard work and the many sacrifices throughout history, ed.outlaw we are brought about historic advances in the cause of civil rights. we support critical protections
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like the civil rights act of 1964 in the voting rights act of 1965. despite this most unimaginable progress, the vestiges and the direct effects of outdated practices remain all too real. in many states, felony disenfranchises laws are still on the book. it is not only two significant to them nor, it is to unjust to tolerate. across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million americans -- 5.8 million of our fellow citizens are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions. now that is more than the individual populations of 31 united states. although well over a century has passed, use these measures to strip african-americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony
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disenfranchisement on modern communities of color are amazed both disproportionate and unacceptable. formillion black citizens nearly one in 13 african american adults, are banned from voting because of these laws. in three states -- florida, kentucky and virginia -- the ratio is one in five. >> attorney general eric holder speaking on tuesday, calling on states to repeal laws that prohibit felons from voting. his call was largely symbolic since the federal government does not have the authority to force states to change their voting laws. but his call was praised by civil rights groups and advocates for reforming the criminal justice system. >> are joined now by desmond meade, president of the florida rights restoration coalition. over 1.3 million citizens in florida who have lost their right to vote due to prior felony convictions. than one in five african
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americans have lost their right to vote in three states. desmond meade he joins us from tallahassee. thank you for being with us. start by telling us your story, how you lost the right to vote and now what you're doing about it. >> amy, thank you for having me on today. back in 2005, i found myself standing in front of railroad tracks in south florida. at the time i was homeless, unemployed, recently released from prison, addicted to drugs and alcohol. i see no hope. i did not have a future. so i thought. i was waiting on the train to come so i could jump in front of it in and buy life. fortunately, the train did not come and i crossed those tracks. i checked myself into a rehabilitation program, treatment program and after graduating from that, i went to a homeless shelter. while living there, i enrolled at one of the local colleges. miami-dade college.
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i enrolled in the paralegal program. after successfully completing that program, i continued on. i received my bachelors. today, i am now three months away from graduating from law school at florida international university college of law. >> congratulations. will you be able to practice law in florida? >> that is a great question, amy. typically, when i tell my story, there is a round of applause afterwards. unfortunately, my story does not have a happy ending. in spite of the many obstacles i have been able to overcome in life, even making the dean's list last year, i still would not be able to even sit for the bar once i graduate in may. >> could you explain what exactly it means to be disenfranchised in florida? what are all of the different things you are prohibited from doing? isin florida, when a person
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disenfranchised, they're basically stripped of their citizenship. for life. case, i ame in my unable to buy a home for my wife and kids anywhere i choose to buy a home. i am restricted in employment opportunities. i cannot vote. i cannot serve on a jury -- which was recently highlighted in the zimmerman trial. i am basically ostracized and forced to wear a scarlet letter of shame for the rest of my life. >> why are the laws so restricted in florida and what is the process for formerly incarcerated people to reclaim their rights? is it at all possible? and what does it entail? >> the laws are still restrictive in florida because our current administration refuses to let go of these jim crow laws.
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there have been positions stated concerning whether or not it is a political ploy. i think it is more than just that. i would challenge people to whaty start investigating type of connection private prisons have to many who are making our policies. presently in the state of florida, an individual would have to wait five to seven years before they're even able to apply to have their civil rights restored. applying,fter processing time for the application takes upwards of six years. in reality, an individual would have to wait anywhere between 11 to 13 years just to see if they have a chance -- a shot at getting their rights restored. in that time frame, just having me traffic ticket -- just having a traffic ticket is enough to do
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disqualify them. does that apply to all felons or just violent felons? >> you would think it would only be violent felons, but in the state of florida, it applies to everyone. even in individual that may have released hot-air balloons in the air or individual who may have gotten caught driving with a suspended license or catching a lobster who still is too short or even disturbing nesting eggs of turtles are burning attire in public. -- falls unders these policies and stripped of that one enduring quality of being an american and that is the right to vote, the right to have your voice heard. extremely significant. in places like vermont and maine, state prisoners can't vote from jail. restan never vote for the of your life, even out of jail. what is the significance of eric holder's speech urging states to
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repeal laws that prohibit felons from voting? >> i think one of the main significance of the attorney general's speech was really to heighten awareness of the policies that are currently in place that serves no legitimate purpose whatsoever. i would even go as far as to say that those individuals that are advocating for these type of disenfranchisement policies are acting in an irresponsible manner and contrary to public safety and to the good will of the people. >> desmond meade, why are african-americans so does proportionately impacted? what is the connection, if any, to the war on drugs? >> i think michele alexander's book really laid it out so everyone could be clear on how their is a disproportionate amount of police activity in the african-american community.
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as a result of this activity, you find a great amount of african-americans are being arrested and incarcerated which of drugskewed vision use in the united states. mightafrican-americans really represent a small minority of drug users, they represent the majority of individuals who are incarcerated due to drug use. >> senator rand paul also gave a speech yesterday that he is calling me civil rights voting restoration act that would apply to federal elections, voting in federal elections he said during his speech at the law center. can you talk about the significance of this? having federal legislation that would allow returning citizens to participate in federal elections
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would pressure some states to change their policy, particularly in florida. one of the main reasons is, there will be some kind of hardship there because how would they administer elections by allowing a returning citizen to only vote for federal candidates and then restricting them from voting for state candidates? i think that would force them to really revamp their system. i'm not relying and we are not relying on this current administration. they appear to have dug in their to evend have refused engage in dialogue with our lawmakers or even with our clergy in the state of florida. that is very evident to us they have no intentions of walking away or moving away from this jim crow type policy. >> could you explain why you
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think it is important that this is expressed as a bipartisan issue? >> there is a select few that would profit from these policies being in place in florida because it contributes to the recidivism rate. one of the tactics they would probably use is saying that -- we heard the attorney general even mention that research has showed the majority of people who are impacted by these policies tend to vote for the democratic party. however, what i can tell you in florida is that there are republicans who are disfranchised. when the policy changes were made in florida which allowed nonviolent offenders to have their rights restored automatically, it was governor charlie crist, a republican at the time i'm a virginia, their
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governor and attorney general or republican when they recently made the changes, and we know what is going on in kentucky. so this issue transcends political lines. it is about humanity. it is an all-american issue, not about democrat or republican. it is about the common decency of letting an individual or helping an individual to reach a great back into their cash reintegrate back into their community so they can become productive citizens and enjoy life. >> and if you can't vote, then how are you represented? it goes to the issue of politicians deciding where funds go, deciding policy, when a community does not vote and are not represented. correct.e 100% as a result of these policies, not only have the african-american and latino
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communities voiced their political -- they're political voice and weekend on a daily basis, but as you have seen in the zimmerman trial, it also affects the ability of african-american and latino's to be properly represented in a court of law. , thank you fore being with us, president of the florida rights restoration coalition, an ex offender who was priebus the homeless and still disenfranchised, but finishing up law school in the next few months. whether he can practice law in florida, that depends on laws changing. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we ended today show with a
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new survey of press freedom around the world that finds the united states plunged 13 spots and now ranks just 46 among 180 countries. the annual survey by reporters without borders says syria is the most dangerous country for journalists, showing a correlation between conflict zones and a low level of press freedom. other countries that fell lower than in previous years survey include the civil war-torn central african republic, down 43 spots to 109, and guatemala where four journalists were killed last year alone. >> this comes as the u n general assembly recently adopted its first resolution on the safety of journalists. the group has called on the yuan to monitor how member states meet their obligations to protect reporters. for more we go to washington, d.c. where we are joined by delphine halgand previous director for reporters without borders. welcome to democracy now! talk about who is on the list and also the united states
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dropping so far to 46th. why? >> in our annual raking, we rank the level of press freedom in 180 countries. we have been ranking the country since 2002. the decline of the u.s. this year is one of the significant declines of the year. there are actually many reasons to explain the decline. if you wanted a title for the u.s. for 2013, we could say [indiscernible] is the enemy. eight whistleblowers have been charged under the espionage act since obama was elected, which is higher than any administration combined. it is not a coincidence. you will have to remember that
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leaks are the lifeblood of investigative journalists. where information related to national security is classified and considered secret , without leaks, there's no other explanation of what is happening except the official version. with the idea that it is clear that whistleblowers are the enemy of the administration, 2013 will be the year of the ap scandal in the department of justice seized [indiscernible] 2013 will be remembered as the year the whistleblower manning was condemned to 35 years in prison. another whistleblower was former ciain 2013, agent.
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on top of that, 2013 will be remembered as the year of edward theden's revelation on [indiscernible] hasjournalists, it it concerning consequences for the ability to even protect her sources if you contact them by e-mail or phone. all of these reasons explain the decline for the u.s. this year. >> delphine halgand, could you also speak about syria? syria the most dangerous country in the world for journalist, and how the situation in 2013 compared to the year before? since the conflict started in march 2011, syria is the deadliest and most dangerous country for journalists. beenif the situation has
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dramatic for four years, every day the situation is declining and declining, getting worse and worse. just to give you numbers, but then i want to tell you some stories to give some perspective on what is happening, since the conflict started in 2011, more than 130 news providers were killed in syria, including 45 last year. thater dramatic number is at least 16 foreign reporters are currently missing, detained, or kidnapped in syria. among them are two to american reporters. amazing human beings, great journalists. james foley is a very experienced journalist who has already been reported in libya
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and was kidnapped there. he is an amazing human being, always thinking of his colleagues. austin ties is a young independent journalist who was reporting for mcclatchy or "the washington post." we're waiting to hear news from them. as i say, the situation continues to decline because the situation is becoming more and more complex, no reporters are attacked by all sides. -- all reporters are attacked by all sides. their attack i bashar al-assad plus regular army and still trying to silence the news provider wants to document the conflict and on the other end, reporters are now targeted very groupsly by islamist you're supposed to have gone to the north. the consequences are dramatic will stop --traumatic. to mexicoto move
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before we hand. tuesday night, people in mexico city join a nationwide call to protest the murder of a journalist. his wife told police masked gunmen broke another home last wednesday, dragged him away. his body was later discovered. for a story about a wave of kidnappings of migrants. the authorities can evening karen t minimal protection to journalists -- can't even guarantee minimal protection to journalists. from the repression against protesters struggling for their rights, something ourselves have experienced, but we have also seen how this has been happening for a while. in various states, there is an imposition of silence because journalists are scared to speak. into thatonverted even a gag, but an outright
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slaughter house. were speaking the truth carries a death sentence. we are enraged and sad because there is no justice. thanks for that clip. at least a dozen journalists have been slain or gone missing there since 2010. , if you cangand wrap that into the overall findings? mexicosituation in remains very concerning, but i just want to highlight that in the last year we observed a decrease of violence for the number of journalists killed decreased a little bit. i hope. as your report pointed out, impunity is a major concern. almost all journalists who were are completely unsolved and no one has been jailed or been taken responsible.
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>> we will have a link to the index. thank you, delphine halgand. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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